Strikers of Oakville Hydro’s PVS blocked the entrance to Town Hall

Strikers blocking entrance to town hall
Strikers of Oakville Hydro’s PVS blocked the entrance to Town Hall

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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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Picketers from LiUNA Local 183 who blocked the both entrances of Town Hall slowed councillors and attendees of the planning and development meeting on Monday, July 6, 2015. In less than five minutes traffic was backed down Trafalgar Road.

Mayor Rob Burton was determined to start the meeting on time bringing down the gavel at 7:00 PM sharp, even though several councillors were not in attendance.

The picketers were protesting the lack of movement by Oakville Hydro to negotiate on a contract for 16 PVS locate workers in Oakville. Locators are the people who prior to construction locate all the important underground electrical, cable, gas, and water lines.

Since 1977, PVS (Peninsula Video & Sound Inc) has been a leader in providing underground locate services to utilities, cable companies, municipalities and residential clients. PVS is also a leading installer of residential and commercial cable TV, Internet, Voice Over IP and digital antenna systems. PVS serves clients in the Niagara Peninsula and the Greater Golden Horseshoe. PVS was recently acquired by Oakville Hydro’s holding company, and is one of several companies that are paying for the New Oakville Hospital loan.

Dividends in excess of $9 million are paid to the Town of Oakville by Oakville Hydro’s holding company, which was outlined to the town last week by Rob Lister, CEO of Oakville Hydro.

The strike according to Robert Tamburini of LiUNA Local 183 is about providing wage and benefits parity with other GTA Locators.

“There is a major gap between what the locators at PVS are receiving and what the rest of the GTA locators are receiving,“ stated Tamburini. “Locators at PVS are receiving between $15 and $20 per hour and pay for their own health insurance. GTA companies are paying their locators between $17 to $25 per hour with full health insurance and pension plans.”

Oakville Hydro has offered to provide a 2.43% increase, which the union agrees is generous if it were on top of the GTA wages.

“We’ve moved the PVS workers off their sites, and most are working at the new rates at other union companies in the GTA. Oakville Hydro is bringing in people to fill in for those missing workers,” said Robert Tamburini.

Oakville Hydro released the following statement to OakvilleNews.Org this morning regarding a request for comment on the issue.

PVS has been negotiating for several months to establish a collective agreement with the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), Local 183, which represents sixteen (16) PVS employees in the Greater Toronto Area (Board Area 8).

Over 150 other PVS employees provide commercial customers with locate services to identify underground utility infrastructure across Southern Ontario. PVS continues to work and communicate with customers and employees to ensure they are supported throughout the duration of this labour disruption. In the meantime, we remain engaged in the collective bargaining process.

When asked about the specifics Amanda Kennedy, VP, Communications and Conservation of Oakville Hydro stated the following: “We feel it would not be suitable to discuss the substance of any discussions or negotiations in the media. We want to respect the integrity of the collective bargaining process and will continue to engage in that process.“

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